Monday, November 5, 2012

Fr Rene' Cilia - Rest in Peace

Father Rene' Cilia

It was a tragic day in Malta on Sunday. 4 men were killed in a farmhouse where fireworks were being constructed. It's a scene happening too often in the Maltese islands. May they rest in peace, and may their families find consolation and comfort during this tough time. 
I ask you today also to pray for a young priest, Fr Rene' Cilia who was killed Sunday morning on his way to celebrate Mass in his parish at Zejtun. He was ordained only two years ago, and filled with youthful enthusiasm, he was well loved by his parishioners and the youth, to whom he dedicated his life. Let us pray for his parents, relatives, friends and his parishioners. 

From the Times of Malta November 6, 2012:
Hundreds of people have turned up in Qormi for the funeral of Fr Rene' Cilia, the 27-year-old priest who died in a traffic accident early on Sunday. The people burst into applause as the cort├Ęge arrived in the square outside St George's Parish Church and was carried in the church as the bells tolled. The church is packed, with chairs also having been set up on the parvis.
Youths from Zejtun, where Fr Cilia was setting up a youth group, carried flowers behind the coffin.
Those present include several Sisters of Mother Teresa, recalling Fr Cilia's work in the missions before be became vice-parish priest of Zejtun. A number of children in school uniform have also turned up. Fr Cilia's mother and two brothers are sitting in the front row a few metres away from the coffin. Archbishop Emeritus Mgr Joseph Mercieca and Gozo Bishop Mario Grech are present for the Mass, which Mgr Anton Gouder, pro-vicar general, celebrated. "We are here to mark the loss but also to celebrate the beauty of Fr Rene's short life," Qormi parish priest Anton Cassar said in his homily. "It was a life fill with purpose because it was a life dedicated to the service of the Lord and fellow man."
He said that to many in Qormi and Zejtun Fr Rene's loss was like losing a father. "He deserved to be called father. He liked joking and making people laugh.. Fr Rene was also aware of the obstacles the church faced and that some people wanted to dishearten priests. Addressing Fr Rene's mother Rita, Fr Cassar thanked her for raising her son as she did. He was also her pillar of strength when her husband died tragically.

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